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By the time he drops me off at my door, I’ve exceeded my time limit by three hours and 32 minutes.It’s kind of like blowing a diet: You know what you’re supposed to do, but then you see dessert, and will power goes out the window.Plus, being more active should bump my profile toward the top, so I’ll be more visible. Someone “likes” me and asks me out within three messages.I should make my messages personal, advises Hoffman: “Comment on something in his profile and follow with a question.” Dutifully, I tell one bespectacled prospect, “I like melty ice cream, too. ” I have some interesting chats, but nothing leads anywhere. He’s into photography and makes his own pasta—and he is an Adonis.I’m supposed to focus on how I feel, not on “the package”—but it’s hard when the package is so beautifully wrapped.He's sweet, too, talking about his grandma, and we follow dinner with drinks.For me, online dating is like exercise: At the end of the day, it’s easier to watch TV.But at 44, I started to realize that if I want a companion before Social Security kicks in, I have to leave the couch.

) Locking eyes across a crowded room might make for a lovely song lyric, but when it comes to romantic potential, nothing rivals technology, according to Helen Fisher, Ph D, a biological anthropologist, senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute, and chief scientific adviser to Match.

We come up with “My ideal match is someone who loves family, has an opinion on current events, and can hold his own at a cocktail party on a Friday night, then chill with me on a lazy Saturday.” The final touch is a headline that sums up my approach to life, like a personal slogan. "It's like a slot machine—the majority of the time, you pull the lever and nothing happens, but every once in a while, there's a payoff." A deflating solution from one online dater: "Draw a face on it and send it back to him."Hoffman looks at my photos and nixes the corporate headshot and mirror selfie. Mirror selfies often give off an air of vanity.” She says the best profile shots feature the three Cs: color (vibrant shades, especially red, grab attention), context (pics that involve your hobbies, like travel or, say, clog dancing), and character (something quirky or funny, “like you in your Halloween costume”).

For the main photo, we do a close headshot where I’m smiling into the camera.

“It’s more possible to find someone now than at probably any other time in history, particularly if you’re older.

You don’t have to stand in a bar and wait for the right one to come along,” says Fisher.

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